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Kunama 1958

Classics from the Screen

The look of the screen has changed, its dimensions grow bigger year by year, the colossal is now the super-colossal, but have the films changed? Do you recognise certain classic phrases?

Films about doctors, for instance, are always bound to include these speeches:

    (a) "It's no good this way, Montmorency. Your work at the First General Institute of Applied Psychiatry and the Wolfgang B. Richendorf Memorial Hospital means more to you than I do."

    (b) "I'm going to need plenty of hot water."

The thing I hate about murder films is the fade-out immediately after the hero says to the heroine, "We're going to trap this Eggleton; now here's what I want you to do . . . . "' Another obnoxious scene is that where the person who skulks through secret passages and peers at the detective through wall-slots turns out to he perfectly innocent. Most probably, though, the two best known extracts from murder film are:

    (a) The potential victim who faces the camera, cringes in terror and exclaims, "You! It's you! No, it can't be! Not you!"

    (b) The girl crime reported, who hides in the dockyard and, just as the murderer passes by ---- sneezes.

Then there is the jungle film where for some reason or other a handful of men go into the country of the headhunters. This type of picture also has two unvarying favourites:

    (a) "Don't move, Berkeley! Hold perfectly still. There's a twentynine foot boaconstrictor behind you. I'm going to get it with my .45."

    (b) "Here, let me try. We your friends. We want to help you. You no kill us and we show you how magic boom-boom stick works."

The cowboy theme is the most hackneyed of all, and here again we have the same pattern. I don't know how many times I've heard the stranger (funnily, it's always a stranger) say to the pretty lady, 'I reckon you must he the new school-marm, ma'am." And then are those famous words, "Oh, of course we could cut them off, Arizona --- but no-one's ever ridden a horse through Dead Man's Folly Canyon before."

Am I right?


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